There is such negative news today but we needn’t be pulled down by it. Matthew 1:21,24,25 gives a different type of news! “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: and knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son; and he called his name Jesus.”
Just as Joseph was awakened, so should we be. We are free to believe whichever news we choose. The Christ continues to live in our hearts and in humility and gratitude we shall know that Christ!
Before the conversion of Paul, he was a well-known persecutor of the Christians, even murdering some. After seeing the light, he went on to become one of the most famous of the followers of the Christ. In Acts 28:4-6, it reads, “When the natives saw the creature hanging from his hand, they began saying to one another, ‘Undoubtedly this man is a murderer, and though he has been saved from the sea, justice has not allowed him to live.’ However, he shook the creature off into the fire and suffered no harm. But they were expecting that he was about to swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had waited a long time and had seen nothing unusual happen to him, they changed their minds and began to say that he was a god.”
That could not have been possible, I feel, had Paul been weighed down with guilt from his past, but through God’s forgiveness as well as his own and releasing all self-condemnation, he was able to become a great Christian and perform great things. I am reminded that in order to touch the hem of Christ’s robe, I have to be on my knees. Releasing the past completely, the future looks so promising.
Just read an article written by Judith Olson and she wrote how Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the above poem after his son had been injured in the Civil War. One of the verses is
“And in despair I bowed my head;
There is no peace on earth, I said;
For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”
His heart must have been heavy as he penned this, but he didn’t stop there because he then wrote
“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”
My prayer today has been with this last verse as I pray for the world!
As I have been reading and praying this morning, a thought popped up. Yesterday, two women came to my door asking questions about my beliefs and wanting to discuss their religion with me. We talked about ten minutes and then I excused myself because one was becoming somewhat aggressive.
While I was thinking about this, my first thought was “Thank Goodness, our religion does not go door to door!” Immediately, I remembered reading about the Pharisee praying that he was grateful he wasn’t as other men! That was a “wake-up” call to me. Those women were doing their highest good and just because I may not agree, it is not my duty to judge them.
1 John 11 states, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” Loving one another is my duty, not judging!
Today, I am working with the line in the above Prayer, “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors”. This, to me, can mean to be mistreated by someone which is an action. It can easily promote a reaction, where it can have a power over us! In the next instance, we are hypnotized or mesmerized to that action and it becomes all-consuming.
The Kingdom of Heaven is within and that is peace and harmony. We can lose that feeling with one reaction. By beginning with God in prayer, the power of Peace and Love can never be taken from us. Psalms 27:4 reads, “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.” This cannot be achieved by playing and replaying a misdeed.
Today as I am praying to God, I am so aware that I am not praying to an old man in the sky ; therefore I am not attempting to make Him more manlike but am realizing my oneness to the Father. As divinity embraces humanity, it does not cease being divinity. In Romans 8:38-39 it reads, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Man is never, ever separated from God, and it is up to us to recognize it and claim it for ourselves. It is always Truth, though so always unchanging and permanent.
This morning I have been pondering Acts 17:25, which states “nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things.” That tells me that God is complete and I share that completion by reflecting Him. When I take the time to realize this, it becomes a powerful prayer and all insignificant challenges begin to fade away. As Psalms 23 says, “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.” To me that says, I want for nothing and my every need is filled by Divine Love.